MERCED, Calif. – Merced police on Saturday announced they arrested a Hayward mother on a murder charge in connection with the death of her 8-year-old daughter, who has been missing since December.
Police said they interviewed Samantha Johnson, 30, in Santa Rita Jail on Friday evening after she was arrested for a prior child abuse incident last year, which they did not elaborate on.
Merced police said detectives asked her about a child’s body located in a home in that city on Barclay Way found on Friday. Johnson’s boyfriend, Dhante Jackson, 34, lives in that home, police said.
Ultimately, police said they arrested Johnson on a murder charge after speaking with her and she will now be transferred to the Merced County Jail, since that county is where the child’s body was found.
Efforts to reach Johnson, who is in custody, were not immediately successful on Saturday.
The coroner has still not positively identified the body found in the Merced home so it is not yet officially determined if it belongs to Johnson’s daughter, 8-year-old Sophia Mason.
Soon after news spread about Jackson’s home being searched, Merced police said that he “went on the run.”
A warrant has been issued for Jackson’s arrest for the charge of murder. He is known to frequent the Bay Area of California, police said.
Merced Police are asking anyone with any information to contact Detective John Pinnegar at (209)388-7712 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.